Norwich City v Stevenage: The Lowdown
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Stevenage must not be underestimated at Carrow Road this evening, Canaries head coach Daniel Farke has warned.
The League Two side head to Norfolk looking to pull off an upset in this first round of the Carabao Cup, after a bright start to their season.
'The cup has high priority for us and for that the preparation for this game is like for each and every league game,' Farke said, having already said he will make some changes, including Michael McGovern starting in goal.
'We know what will happen, they have had a good start so there's no pressure for them, they just can win.
'I'm pretty sure the team from the lower level wants to represent themselves well, they have a big chance to be there with a big surprise, it's always the same in cup competitions, anything can happen.
'It's a professional football team and the differences are not unbelievably big and for that we have to be unbelievably focussed and concentrated on this game.'
Stevenage drew 2-2 at home to Tranmere on the opening day but won 3-1 at Crawley on Saturday, thanks to two late goals from big striker Alex Revell.
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'Normally they have at least five players in the starting XI who are older than 30, so pretty experienced, at the moment four points from two games, full of self-confidence,' Farke continued.
'Let's see how it develops but in their last games they've played with three strikers and the smallest is 1.91 metres (6ft 3ins) so you know what will happen, they have six players taller than this.
'If it is like a game where Felix Passlack or Max Aarons have to win the headers it will be difficult.
'If we are able to have the ball and dominate the ball, have them run after us, I think we will be the better side – but first we have to make sure we are the better side and we know that.
'It could be complicated because you can't avoid all those long balls and there will be headers and you have to be there for the second balls.
'So we have to be really focussed to go into the next round, that's what we're trying to do and what we want to do.'
Tim Krul will be rested, with Grant Hanley, Alex Tettey and Ivo Pinto also in line for a break after disrupted pre-seasons. Jamal Lewis (dead leg) may be fit enough for a place on the bench but Emi Buendia will miss the game as he has returned to Spain with his wife due to give birth. Long-term injury victims Mario Vrancic (pelvis), Matt Jarvis (knee) and Carlton Morris (knee) are not back in contention yet.
Stevenage team news
Striker Danny Newton will miss out with a suspected broken rib.
Season so far
The Hertfordshire side have made a solid start to the campaign, having finished in mid-table last season, drawing 2-2 at home to Tranmere before a 3-1 win at Crawley.
Stevenage boss Dino Maamria said: 'They like to play possession-based football. It'll be a challenge for our players and German football is good, German managers are good and it'll be a good challenge to test myself tactically against a Championship manager, I'll relish it. I'm looking forward to it, so are our players. We'll make sure we'll stop them from playing the way they want to play.'
Alex Revell – Two late goals from the 35-year-old earned the victory at Crawley. The tall centre-forward scored eight goals in 14 games after joining on a free from Northampton in January. Veteran of over 500 senior games and 100 goals, with previous clubs including Rotherham and Cardiff.
EFL Cup record
Stevenage have never made it beyond the second round of the EFL Cup but did win 1-0 at Ipswich in the first round in 2016.
Two-time winners Norwich have made it to the fourth round of the competition in five of the last six seasons. Last season Daniel Farke's team almost knocked Premier League giants Arsenal out in the fourth round – with around 9,000 fans making the trip to the Emirates – before conceding late then being beaten 2-1 in extra-time.
Tonight's game will be the first ever competitive fixture between the teams. City were held to a 2-2 draw at Broadhall Way during pre-season in 2017, with Nelson Oliveira and Alex Pritchard scoring before the hosts hit back.
Craig Hicks (Surrey) – League One referee has shown 10 yellow cards in two games so far this season. His first game in charge of City having worked his way up from the National League ranks in recent years.